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Passwords for Dummies

22 January 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

SplashData has announced the 2015 edition of its annual Worst Passwords List highlighting the insecure password habits of Internet users. '123456' and 'password' once again reign supreme as the most commonly used passwords, as they have since SplashData’s first list in 2011, demonstrating how people’s choices for passwords remain consistently risky.

In SplashData’s fifth annual report, compiled from more than 2 million leaked passwords during the year, some new and longer passwords made their debut – perhaps showing an effort by both websites and web users to be more secure. However, the longer passwords are so simple as to make their extra length virtually worthless as a security measure.

"We have seen an effort by many people to be more secure by adding characters to passwords but if these longer passwords are based on simple patterns they will put you in just as much risk of having your identity stolen by hackers," said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData.

"For example, '1234567890', '1qaz2wsx' (first two columns of main keys on a standard keyboard), and 'qwertyuiop' (top row of keys on a standard keyboard) all appear in the top 25 list for the first time but they are each based on simple patterns that would be easily guessable by hackers."

As in past years’ lists, simple numerical passwords remain common, with six of the top 10 passwords on the 2015 list comprised of numbers only.


Sporty habits

Sports remain a popular password theme. While baseball may be America’s pastime, 'football' has overtaken it as a popular password. Both appear in the Top 10 of SplashData’s list, with 'football' climbing three spots to number seven and 'baseball' dropping two spots to number 10.


Star Wars stars

When it comes to movies and pop culture, The Force may be able to protect the Jedi but it won’t secure users who choose popular Star Wars terms such as 'starwars,' 'solo,' and 'princess' as their passwords. All three terms are new entries on this year’s list.


Picture: The worst passwords list

Click Here to download the eBook, Worst Passwords: What We Have Learned From Five Years of Studying the Internet’s Most Commonly Used Passwords



Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 22 January 2016


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